Our View: The sad sting of a joke

Humour and satire can be touchy subjects for some.

Humour and satire can be touchy subjects for some. Being the subject of a joke or prank sometimes has an uncomfortable sting, especially when the target cannot laugh at themselves.

Mash journalism and humour together, throw in a dash of political or religious gun powder and you’ve got a recipe for disaster — at least in the case of Charlie Hebdo last week in Paris when masked gunmen stormed the offices of the newspaper and executed 12 people.

Being so convicted that one would don a mask and invade a quiet newspaper office out of anger, guns strapped to their backs with full intention of causing harm, now that’s angry. All news firms have editorial meetings. Charlie Hebdo is a newspaper with advertisers, reporters and cartoonists — features, editorials, stories and columns like any other printed paper in the world. Their job was to be humourous about global events, politics and religion. A risky business, but not illegal.

It takes great courage to publicly state unpopular or controversial opinions. All journalists are soldiers in a way; their weapons are keyboards. Getting the stories and then sharing the facts, the opinions and the news for their readers, listeners and viewers – that is what a journalist does. Most of the stories told about this tragedy have been sure to indicate that the views of Charlie Hebdo were “satirical.” Does this suggest that there was something about their work which warranted the ambush? Because they were poking fun at one group or another, that the deaths are more “understandable” or “justified.”

Freedom of expression and freedom of speech are more than just guaranteed rights or ambivalent concepts to be taken for granted in many parts of the free world.

While we at the Arrow Lakes News might not speak out against religions, politicians or corporations on a regular basis, it is very important to know that we can, and we can hope that we will not be murdered for our opinions.

 

Just Posted

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

Nakusp Secondary School hosts day of remembrance

Event honoured Indigenous contributions to Canada’s war efforts

Remembering a century at the Nakusp Cenotaph

Nakusp joined the rest of Canada in honouring 100 years since the end of the First World War

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Ten-year sentence for man convicted of B.C. belt-strangling death

Shayne McGenn guilty of manslaughter in 2016 death of David Delaney, 63

Roy Clark, country singer, ‘Hee Haw’ star, has died

Guitar virtuoso died because of complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. He was 85.

Lack of funding, culture on campus biggest barriers for Indigenous students: report

Report based on nearly 300 responses found lack of support at post-secondary schools a big concern

Tinder sex assault suspect charged; additional alleged victims sought

Vincent Noseworthy of Alberta is accused of aggravated sexual assault, unlawful confinement and more

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Most Read